IT Innovations Dominate 2012’s ‘Great Eight’ Business Plans

Original post by Knowledge

Since launching around the height of the bubble of the early 2000s, Wharton’s Business Plan Competition has seen ever increasing diversity in entries from student entrepreneurs. This year, a big theme was IT solutions for business problems, especially in the health care field. Finalists’ plans focused on software to connect hospitals with patients in rural areas, a program to identify patients at high-risk for readmission to a hospital and a professional social networking site for physicians. In non-health care entries, contestants presented ideas related to areas such as online marketing and education.

The BPC has been a popular competition among students at the University of Pennsylvania since it was established 14 years ago. This year, it saw a record level of participation, with more than 150 ideas submitted to the competitive phase — a 30% jump in participation over 2011. During the course of the year, ideas were narrowed down by a broader group of judges until the “great eight” remained to participate in the Venture Finals on April 25.

Presenting their plans before an audience of venture capitalists, business leaders, faculty and students, the eight finalists fielded questions from four judges on aspects of their plans such as revenue models, intellectual property and the competitive landscape. The judges included representatives from Alara Capital, Karlin Asset Management, Compass Partners and Spark Capital.